Drums. Bass. Baritone sax. Sounds like a jazz trio to us. But it's actually the combination of instruments Morphine has been using to create bluesy, bare-bones rock 'n' roll since the early '90s. Add bassist Mark Sandman's deep, raspy, detached vocals (think Nick Cave), keyboards, and the occasional guitar riff, and the three-piece comes off as a novelty lounge act caught in a matrix of dirty blues, midtempo jazz, and campy pop. Morphine brings its unique brand of tunes to the Carefree Theatre (2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach) at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets cost $15 or $17.50. Call 561-833-7305.
Mix-ups, miscues, and misunderstandings are the tools of dramatic farce, and with Cheaters playwright Michael Jacobs gives the audience just enough inside information to yock it up while the cast tries to figure out what's up. Allen and Michelle are living together, and she thinks it's time for matrimony. But he's not so sure. So they turn to their parents for advice. Big mistake. As it turns out, Michelle and Allen have never introduced their respective parents to each other before. And it just so happens that Michelle's dad has been having an affair with Allen's mom for the past six months and that Michelle's mom spent a night with Allen's dad. The audience picks up clues along the way, but it's not until the second act -- when both sets of parents show up for dinner with the young couple -- that the characters figure out who's sleeping with whom. Cheaters opened Friday and runs through March 28 at Curtain Call Playhouse (Pompano Beach Civic Center, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach). Curtain is 2 and 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 to $15. Call 954-784-0768. See "Stage" listings for a complete schedule.
Doggy superstars Lassie, Benji, and Beethoven -- the latest canines playing those parts, anyway -- will show audiences the tricks behind animal acting during Paws For Applause from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at C.B. Smith Park (900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines). Trainers from Universal Studios will ask volunteers from the audience to help demonstrate how animals interact with actors and follow basic commands during scenes. The real stars of the event, however, will be the dogs who help people in real life. The Drug Enforcement Administration will demonstrate the skills of its drug-sniffing dogs, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue will run its K-9 unit members through their paces, and Canine Companions For Independence will show off seeing-eye dogs and other service animals. Admission costs $3 to $5, and proceeds will benefit Canine Companions. Call 954-437-2650.
Who cares if it's New-Age if it feels damn good? The Reiki Healing Circle, presented by Masters of Momentum, is like one big massage fest, with the heat and energy of a massage used to healing and restorative effects. In English, Reiki means "universal life-force energy." Yeah, whatever. What's important is that the Reiki masters will explain just how this art of massage works and how it can be applied. While some members of the group do the talking, others will provide a five-minute Reiki session for people in attendance. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, 12171 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. Admission is free. Call 954-723-9595.
For 20 years cardiovascular health guru Dr. Dean Ornish has been preaching the gospel of proper diet, exercise, and stress reduction. By making positive lifestyle changes in those areas, he claims, it's possible not only to keep the heart muscle strong but to reverse coronary artery disease. With his latest book, Love & Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and Health, Ornish goes even further, claiming that, aside from plain ol' heart disease, Americans are suffering from "emotional and spiritual heart disease." Translation: The symptoms of our fragmented society -- loneliness, isolation, and depression -- are taking a toll on our physical health. But there is hope. Those who are able to confide in friends and share life's ups and downs with someone they love are three to five times likelier to stave off premature death than, say, drug and alcohol abusers. OK, so it's not revolutionary thinking, but it's always good to hear someone like Ornish back up what you'd always hoped was true. Ornish will speak about and sign copies of his book at 10 a.m. today at Whole Foods Market (3565 NE 207th St., Aventura, 305-933-1543), and at 6 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Hotel and Marina (1881 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 800-528-4888). Admission to either event is free, but reservations are required for the Marriott talk.